The news follows this message…

By | Featured Post, Messaging, mobile messaging | No Comments

Can you have a conversation with the news? Digital newspaper Quartz thinks so. Its app dispenses with the usual menus and lists. Instead, it lets readers browse the day’s headlines in a chat interface. Zach Seward, Quartz’s senior VP or product and executive editor, talked to MEF Minute features editor, Tim Green, about the thinking behind a left-field idea for MEF’s free Future of Messaging Guide.

It’s a truism in tech that when a medium embraces innovation, it takes a while for old norms to disappear. It’s why the first movies looked like filmed stage plays and mobile phones had qwerty keyboards.

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Infobip: new use cases for direct carrier billing are everywhere

By | Executive Interview, Messaging | No Comments

From Spotify subscriptions to micro-loans, the potential for carrier billing is only limited by the market’s imagination. So says, Ante Ukalović, CEO of Centili – the DCB arm of Infobip. He talked to MEF Minute…Could micro-insurance be the catalyst that propels direct carrier billing to the next level?

Here’s a possible scenario. An insurance company sells a health or life policy to a citizen in a developing country. The insurer sends the forms through the post hoping the customer will fill and return them. Often, they don’t.

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Mobile messaging in Africa: it’s for everyone

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Are Africa’s feature phone users locked out of rich media marketing? Not necessarily. Clever new messaging formats can reach everyone, says Waheed Adam, chairman of iTouch whom recently spoke to MEF Minute’s features editor, Tim Green, to explain how, for MEF’s free Future of Messaging Guide.

For all the hype around Africa’s smartphone revolution, the stats tell a more nuanced story. Yes, smartphones are on the up. But so are feature phones.

Indeed, according to IDC, they’re growing faster. It says 23.1 million smartphones were shipped in Africa during Q2 2016 (down 5.2 per cent year-on-year). But shipments of feature phones hit 29.8 million – up 31.9 per cent.

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Duolingo chat bot

The chat bots that say Ja, Si and Oui

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Every day Duolingo helps 150 million people learn languages for free. But until recently, says Duolingo’s Gina Gittholf, learners couldn’t practice conversation. Now, they can – thanks to message bots. Gittholf spoke to MEF Minute’s Tim Green about how Duolingo’s messaging bots are helping the students climb the learning curve for MEF’s free Future of Messaging Guide.

The mere idea of a chat bot is hard for many people to understand. But one that speaks in a foreign language? Surely that’s just a step too far.

Not for the makers of language-learning app Duolingo. For them, friendly bots like Chef Roberto (the pizza maker) and Renée the driver have solved a huge problem: how to get people talking in a new language without self-consciousness.

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Robot Family

Chat bots and accounting, introducing Pegg

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Three quarters of small businesses use Excel or even paper to manage their accounts. Now, they can chat to a bot called Pegg.

Kriti Sharma, VP of bots and AI at Sage, talked to MEF Minute features editor, Tim Green, about why the accountancy software specialist created him for MEF’s free Future of Messaging Guide.

Every day, millions of small to medium sized business use specialist accounting software to manage their finances, organise payroll and log expenses. Three million of them use Sage, one of the most popular packages available.

And the rest? An excel spreadsheet. Or, failing that, a big old shoe box filled with scribbled notes and receipts.

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Silhouette of an offshore oil installation

You have a new message (from an oil rig)

By | Featured Post, Messaging, mobile messaging | No Comments

Heavy industry might be the next big user of mobile messaging, says Sethu Meenakshisundaram, president of SAP Mobile Services. He recently talked to MEF Minute features editor, Tim Green, about the promise of smart connected machines for MEF’s free Future of Messaging Guide.

Sethu Meenakshisundaram has a vision for mobile messaging. And it’s not necessarily human. He is qualified to opine on the subject. He was a director at messaging pioneer Sybase for 15 years and today he is president of SAP Mobile Services (a division of SAP), which bought Sybase in 2010. He’s seen messaging evolve from a person to person medium to a channel through which enterprises can communicate with customers.

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Wire - Android

Privacy and messaging – just between me and you

By | Featured Post, Messaging, Privacy | No Comments

Mobile messaging taps into the human desire for contact. But what about the human desire for privacy? Alan Duric, co-founder and CTO at Wire wants to bring it back.

Here he talks to MEF Minute features editor, Tim Green about his privacy-first chat app as part of MEF’s recently published Future of Messaging Guide which can be downloaded here for free.

The success of mobile messaging proves one thing. However fast technology moves, people beings will always want to communicate with other people.

Every social network – Facebook, SnapChat, Line, WeChat – just reminds us of this basic human need.

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Venmo: turning IOU into ‘how are you?’

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US-based Venmo is a surprising thing: a social messaging app based around payments. Actually, says Venmo’s head of product Ben Mills, it’s not surprising at all. It was designed that way.

MEF Minute’s features editor, Tim Green caught up with Mills to discuss how the company has combined payments, messaging and social media to build its billion-dollar business model.

In the US everyone knows about Venmo. In a country that still likes to use cheques, this person-to-person payments app offers a glimpse of the future. Venmo lets people send money to each other instantly.

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iTouch Messaging : MEMS is a rich-media messaging platform, for Africa too

By | Featured Post, MEFTV, Messaging | No Comments

Waheed Adam, Chairman of iTouch Messaging, describes a rich-media messaging solution tailored to the African markets and describes the unique challenges and solutions facing businesses bringing these services to the region.

While Africa faces many technological challenges in terms of bandwidth and stable/affordable data and internet rates/services, improvements are being made and the technology ecosystem is getting better.

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Man in rear of the car typing on mobile phone

Text: the driver behind the drivers

By | Featured Post, Messaging | No Comments

It takes a huge amount of complex technology to make Uber’s transformative service run smoothly. But without reliable text from driver to rider, it all falls down…

Here MEF Minute’s features editor, Tim Green, explains the role of SMS in the Uber service with additonal comments from Uber founder, Travis Kalanick. The original article appeared in MEF’s Future of Messaging Guide alongside more than 3o other use cases, interviews and articles. The guide can be downloaded here for free.

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